Monday, November 30, 2009

Really Red Christmas!

I apologize, this one was especially hard to photograph. But the basic idea is a "really red" card!

I added some clear rhinestone brads for bling, along with some silky smooth satin ribbon.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! We traveled back to Texas for the week and it was wonderful to visit with our old friends and neighbors... and my family, too! It was the DRIVE that we could've lived without... 15-16 hours straight through with 3 kiddos. Do you feel my pain?!

Card Recipe:
Stamp Set: Snow Swirled, Serene Snowflakes
Ink: Basic Black, Real Red, Versamark
Cardstock: Real Red, Basic Black, Whisper White
Accessories: White Satin Ribbon, Clear Rhinestone brads

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Christmas Request

A friend of mine back in Texas asked if I could help her design a Christmas card. What an honor it is to be asked such a thing! I created a few for her - some of which you've seen - but this is the one she liked the best:

As you can see in the picture, the "ornaments" on the tree are done in silver so they sparkle a little bit.

I'm going to be "off the air" for a few days as we're traveling back to Texas for Thanksgiving! It will be my first time back "home" since we moved here in April! I'm excited to see several old friends... Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Card Recipe:
Stamp Set: Snow Swirled
Ink: Mellow Moss, Basic Black, Silver Encore
Cardstock: Mellow Moss, Always Artichoke, Basic Black, Whisper White
Accessories: Whisper White Organza ribbon
Tools: Key Tag punch

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Quilts

I normally reserve this blog for Stampin' Up! stuff only... but I thought some of you might be interested to see what has kept me from you for so long! The move up here to the mountains has given me the quilting bug! It's a new hobby for me - and I needed a new hobby like I needed another hole in my head, but I have really enjoyed these projects. I am making quilts for the boys! They are sometimes called "rag quilts", and they consist of two layers of cozy flannel with some batting in between for our chilly nights.

This is the first one I made - it's for Morgan:

This next one is the one I made for Maddox:

I'm still working on Mason's (in my spare time - HA!!), but here is the fabric he and I picked out for it:

Fun, fun, fun! Sorry for you card-only folks... but this just goes to show you that there are so many great hobbies out there! Life's too short to have only one...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Special People...

Everyone has special people in their life whom they want to remember on special days... this is one such day for me. Today marks the birthday of my late high school sweetheart. Every year, I like to send a card to his parents to let them know they are on my mind. Here's the one I made for them this year:

This adorable acorn stamp is fun to layer with circle punches... but be sure to line them up just right so the letters look right - you see that the "g" gets split between the punches:

No more real secrets on this one, so I'll let the recipe speak for itself.

We miss you, Scott...

Card Recipe:
Stamp Sets: The More the Merrier (Hostess Level III), Woodgrain background
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Black StazOn
Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, More Mustard, Close to Cocoa, Whisper White
Accessories: Chocolate Chip Wide Grosgrain ribbon
Tools: 1-3/4" and 1" Circle punches, Horizontal Slot punch (for ribbon)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Even More Christmas!

Here is the card that my guys liked the best... I like it too, but it's not my favorite.

I really like this little snowman scene because there's 5 of them and 5 of us! Michael is the debonair one with the top hat, I get to be the cute one with the earmuffs, Mason looks like his daddy, Morgan has the silly Santa hat on, and Maddox is the chubby one down front! Isn't it perfect?!

The card I think I will use for Christmas actually has this same stamp on it... I'll show that to you soon.

Card Recipe:
Stamp Sets: The More the Merrier (Hostess Level 3), Serene Snowflakes
Ink: Black StazOn, Versamark, Night of Navy
Cardstock: Real Red, Night of Navy, Old Olive, Whisper White
Accessories: Whisper White Organza ribbon (I told you I LOVE this ribbon!)
Tools: Word Window punch

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More Christmas Cards!

Here's another idea I came up with for Christmas... I really like it, but it's quite a bit of layering.

The image I used here is from Serene Snowflakes (one of my very favorite holiday sets this year), but it could be almost anything. And, I actually prefer it turned on it's side like this:

But with this snowflake, I think most people would be turning it upright (like the first picture). I'd need to use something that has a definite top and bottom if I wanted to have it sideways like this.

Anyway, I like this one quite a bit, so I'll probably make a few! (...I didn't even ask the guys if they liked it. I'm the one doing all the work, right? I should have the right to veto, shouldn't I?!)

Card Recipe:
Stamp Sets: Serene Snowflakes, Many Merry Messages
Ink: Real Red, Basic Black
Cardstock: Real Red, Basic Black, Naturals White
Accessories: Whisper White Organza Ribbon
Tools: Scallop Edge punch

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas Cards!

I've been making a lot of Christmas cards lately, trying to pick the one that I want to use. I'll start showing you the ones I've come up with so far over the next few days.

This was the first one I made, and I really like it, but the guys in my house didn't vote for it. It's actually a CASE of a card in the Holiday Mini - page 26. I love the soft look of it, but I suppose it was too soft for the men in my life!

I think they were leaning toward the more traditional Christmas colors, so I made another version of it in green...

...but they didn't go for this one either. :)

Ah well, I've got more! I'll be back soon...

Card Recipe:
Stamp Set: Serene Snowflakes, Christmas Greetings
Ink: Silver Encore, Versamark, Bordering Blue & Night of Navy (card #1), Mellow Moss & Always Artichoke (card #2)
Cardstock: Kraft, Shimmery White, Bordering Blue (card #1), Mellow Moss (card #2)
Accessories: Whisper White Organza Ribbon, Clear Rhinestone Brads
Tools: Corner Rounder punch

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Michael!

Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful comments about my new desk! I'm still thrilled with it - I've been making all kinds of cards! My only problem now is that I don't have enough time to get them uploaded, watermarked, and prepared for posting! ...always a complaint, huh?

Okay, so today was my wonderful husband's birthday. I made him a cute little card that I honestly think all of you will appreciate more than he did. :) Ah well, cards just aren't his thing!

Aw, isn't it cute?! Do you want to know what he said when he opened it?! He said, "Look boys, Mom made me a card that says she likes my nuts"! I'm NOT JOKING! Of course, many giggles erupted from my boys at that. I am so completely surrounded by testosterone in this house.

In any case, it was a fun card to make. I suppose it's fair for them to take it out of context to increase their enjoyment of such girl-ish endeavors. :)

Oh, a side note, I made the background by inking up the acorn from the Level 3 Hostess set, The More the Merrier, with my Versamark marker. May be a little more work than I tend to do, but hey, Michael's worth it... most of the time. ;)

Card Recipe:
Stamp Sets: Animal Crackers, The More the Merrier
Ink: Versamark, Black StazOn, Creamy Caramel, Close to Cocoa
Cardstock: Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Always Artichoke, Whisper White
Accessories: Hodgepodge Hardware (retired finish), Always Artichoke Grosgrain ribbon

Monday, November 2, 2009

My New Stampin' Desk!!

I am so excited to share this with you... because it is something I am truly excited about! If you follow my blog, you know that I used to have a wonderful stamp room when we lived in Texas. I was sad to give that up, but I am thrilled with my new space. I want to thank all of you who gave me suggestions on new stamping desk ideas, but I managed to come up with this solution on my own. Since my space had to be out in the open (in a corner of our downstairs game room), I wanted something that I could close up so it wouldn't look so cluttered. I started by purchasing a computer armoire on Craigslist, but after getting it home and halfway down the steps, we realized it wasn't going to make the turn at the base of the stairs! Aaaargh! But it was a blessing in disguise... because THIS is what I found instead:

A gorgeous roll-top desk and matching file cabinet! It was even a little cheaper than the armoire, and it matches our wood trim so much better. We have another roll-top upstairs where the boys do their schoolwork, and it looks so nice that I decided to look into one as a possible stamping desk. Because it is designed for a computer, it allows me to put my Ott Light and heat gun right inside while the cords get threaded out the back. I plan to put a decor element on the wall above the desk... probably the Life Milestones one, which says, "Life isn't a matter of milestones, but of moments." I will post updated pictures when that's done.

You may think there's not enough room to spread out, but I'm finding out that less space is actually BETTER for me... there's nowhere to just leave things out like I used to. My desk would get so cluttered from just leaving it in a pile - now I take a couple minutes after each card and put things AWAY where they belong! And when everything has a place within arms reach, it's so much easier to do! Plus, I do have a pull-out tabletop on either side if I need some extra room - which I have not needed.

Now, here's one of my MOST FAVORITE THINGS about this desk... ribbon storage!!

I have NEVER, NEVER, NEVER had such a PERFECT spot to store my ribbon before! Isn't it beautiful!! It's the second drawer on the right - I just pull it open, find the one I want, and take the whole spool out! It is brilliant... believe me! I've fought with all kinds of ribbon solutions and this is so simple, yet so perfect! I truly believe this was worth the price of the desk all by itself!

Now here's the top drawer... I am still playing with finding the perfect spot for things, but so far, all of my scissors are in here, along with other things I use a lot... my color swatch deck, sanding blocks, sponges, etc.

And here is the bottom drawer on the right. It's deeper than the others, and it keeps all of my Big Shot dies nice and orderly, along with some extra things in the back.

The left side of the desk is where a computer tower or printer would go, but I use it for my punches and cardstock scraps (you may remember my cardstock scrap box from before - it is still very much a part of my stamping station!). I am not totally satisfied with how I have my punches stored (all in a bin like this), but I'm waiting for another brilliant idea on how to improve it. Any ideas? For now, this works fine. Underneath that shelf is a big hollowed out area where my extra grid paper and other larger items fit nicely - like my Circle Scissor Plus and glass mat.

Okay, now for another one of my VERY FAVORITE aspects of this desk... the pull-out keyboard tray!

Instead of a keyboard, I use it for my paper trimmer and Stampin' Scrub! Oh, how convenient it is to have these two staples always available and very accessible! It is fantastic!!

Like any roll-top desk, there are ample cubbies and bins just perfect for all of my stamping accessories... here is the right side of the desk top which holds my markers, Watercolor Wonder Crayons, embellishments, embossing powders, etc. The biggest drawer on top has my watercolor pencils and pastels, while the smaller ones hold my "specialty" ink pads - Versamark, StazOn, Encore, etc. Eventually, when I'm sure I have everything where I want it, I will have nice labels on the drawers.

On the left side of the desk top, there is a nice, deep drawer that is PERFECT for storing envelopes!! It was like this desk was built just for me! The other drawers on this side hold all of my adhesives (snail, dimensionals, glue dots, etc.), and there's a wide shallow drawer with pencil-sized wells in it that store my bone folders, gel pens, blender pens, and even my Tearing Edge. And speaking of enough space, I still have an entirely empty drawer!

On top of the desk, I have a couple other storage spaces - this beautiful treasure box holds all of my "rejects" - pieces that I have punched and not used, or even small stamped pieces. I like to dig through it every now and then to see what kind of cards I can make with my cast-offs. And it's a fun box for my nieces to go through when they come over.

On the other side, I have a caddy with glass jars that hold things like my Flower Fusion pieces, Die Cut Blooms, and even Chipboard. I found this caddy a couple years ago at "First Monday Trade Days" out in Canton, Texas. I love the look of it, and I'm happy to put it to good use!

To the right of the desk is the little filing cabinet that came with the desk. It holds all of my cardstock, and I keep my Big Shot on top of it within easy reach!

Against the wall is a ledge that is perfect for the ink cabinet that Michael built for me back in Texas, and I have a couple of these antique printer trays where I store the retired stamps that I refuse to part with. Eventually they will both get hung on the wall, but for now they just rest here.

Finally, I must mention that we also have a large storage room downstairs where I have all of my other "less used" stamping supplies. I have claimed several shelves in there, and there's even a bookshelf to house all of my stamp sets. What I'm in the process of creating is a personalized "catalog" using images of the stamp sets I own cut from old catalogs. I will put them in sheet protectors in a binder so I can flip through it to find just what I want to use. This will make it so easy to go retrieve the desired set from the storage room! It's also good for finding just the right sentiment since they're scattered all throughout the sets. Once I finish this book, I'll show you a picture of it... but that may be awhile - I'm spending all my free time stamping right now! Yippee!

Well, that's it!! What do you think?! Cozy, huh?! (Don't forget that lovely view I get from the downstairs window!) I'd love to hear your comments!